My hubby is looking for a new laptop and he’s quite taken with the new wireless technology. As soon as I hear “wireless”, I think, “radiation?” So I decided to do some research on this. I asked the salesperson at the computer store (and we all know how honest they are) what the electromagnetic radiation was like from a wireless computer. He assured me that computers, unlike cell phones, used radio waves. So it was exactly the same amount of radiation as having as radio playing on your desk, and perfectly safe.
Hmmm….that just didn’t intuitively make sense to me.
So I hit the Internet for further research, and here’s what I dug up. Now, if you like to see original research, you can read this next part and click on the links. But if you just want the end results, then scroll down to the end section titled: CONCLUSION.
You can go here to NASA’s site to get an easily understood definition of exactly what electromagnetic radiation is, and the distinction between the different types of waves: http://imagine.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/science/know_l1/emspectrum.html
This article tell you what wavelength/freqency wireless computer devices work with (frequency and wavelength are inter-related as explained in the NASA article): http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/W/Wi_Fi.html
Once we know the frequency wireless (WiFi) technology uses, we can then compare that to Radios and TVs.
FM Radio is in the 88 – 110MHz range
Analogue TV (what most people have in their homes) is at 400 – 600MHz
Digital TV is at 600 – 1000MHz.
If you go to: http://www.webopedia.com/TERM/R/RF.html
They give a great definition of radio frequency and then an excellent chart showing the strength of the various frequencies:
“Radio frequency is also abbreviated as rf or r.f. – any frequency within the electromagnetic spectrum associated with radio wave propagation. When an RF current is supplied to an antenna, an electromagnetic field is created that then is able to propagate through space. Many wireless technologies are based on RF field propagation.”
“These frequencies make up part of the electromagnetic radiation spectrum:
– Ultra-low frequency (ULF) — 0-3 Hz
– Extremely low frequency (ELF) — 3 Hz – 3 kHz
– Very low frequency (VLF) — 3kHz – 30 kHz
– Low frequency (LF) — 30 kHz – 300 kHz
– Medium frequency (MF) — 300 kHz – 3 MHz
– High frequency (HF) — 3MHz – 30 MHz
– Very high frequency (VHF) — 30 MHz – 300 MHz
– Ultra-high frequency (UHF)– 300MHz – 3 GHz
– Super high frequency (SHF) — 3GHz – 30 GHz
– Extremely high frequency (EHF) — 30GHz – 300 GHz”
CONCLUSION: WIFI IS NOT SAFE FOR FREQUENT, ONGOING USAGE
So, based on the information gathered above, here’s where each item (cell phones, radio, TV, wireless computers) lies in terms of intensity of electromagnetic radiation:
FM Radio is 88-110 MHz –> Very high frequency electromagnetic radiation
Cell phones used to be 824-869 MHz –> Ultra-high frequency electromagnetic radiation. But they can now go up to 3 or 4 GHz.
Wireless computers/internet are 2.4 GHz –> Ultra-high frequency electromagnetic radiation (but nearly up into Super High frequency range).